The Best Of The 240 Unsung Features In OS X Lion

The Best Of The 240 Unsung Features In OS X Lion

Launchpad! Mission Control! Airdrop! Lion’s packing so many bold new features that the keynote sounded like chatter from a missile silo. Apple highlighted the 10 big ones, but what about the other 240? There are some hidden gems. Let’s look!

A new address book: The new book’s dropping its side and status bars, can suck in iPhoto portraits for your contacts, can directly access their Facebook profiles, and will show you their IM availability.

All My Files: this is sort of the opposite of Mission Control. Instead of whisking away your file system, and desktop clutter, this new Finder feature brings literally every single non-system file on your computer into one folder. But they’ll be organised, Apple says.

Search Tokens: Filter your Finder search results. Say you only want to see JPEGs you’ve received from mum. Click mum and JPEGs. Done.

File Dragging: Now when you pull around more than one file, they cluster together, and there’s a tidy little counter to let you know how many you’ve grabbed ahold of.

Keep Both Files: Isn't it annoying when you try to drop a file into a folder that contains another file by the same name, to no avail? Yes! But now Finder will ask if you want to just stick the word "Copy" onto the end of the second one.

Calendar Heat Map: Just how popular are you, chief? Figure out when's best to pencil in that hot date or unbearable dinner with your aunt - iCal will show you what part of the week is most (and least) active.

Unified iChat Buddy Lists: Talk with all of your friends, regardless of service, in one big list. If they're signed on with multiple clients, click and select the one you want.

Get Online During Recovery Mode: If you're computer's screwed and you need to restore, you might also need to get some help online. Which is tricky, because, you know, your computer is all messed up. But now Recovery Mode has Safari access. So beg go ahead and scramble for help.

Low Power Wake: Your Lion-maned Mac can activate features like file sharing and backup without fully turning itself on - saving you some juice.

New PhotoBooth Effects: Ah yes, time for some fun, kiddos! PhotoBooth is goofier than ever, with no effects that use facial-tracking tech to, say, give you giant bulbous eyeballs as you move your head around. This should be a great way to freak out your family from afar.

Digital Document Signing: Now this is super cool. Need to sign a digital document? That's tough, because you don't want to write on your screen, and printing anything sucks. So instead, hold up a paper copy of your signature, and your iSight will auto-scan it and let you stick it on the doc.

Location Privacy Controls: You don't want your computer to tell a program where you are unless you know it and give the green light. So each app can be managed individually if it wants to use your position, and a little icon in the menu bar will let you know it's watching.

Beefier Spotlight: Your searching friend in the corner is smarter in Lion. Drag an item off your Spotlight results list and do what you'd like with it. Share it! Email it! Delete it! You can also search the web (and Wikipedia) from the same field.

Turn Off the Lights: Is your dock BLINDING you? That's OK. In Lion, you can turn off the open application indicator lights. Phew!

Triple-Finger Lookup: Click on a word with three fingers and Lion will pull up dictionary and Wikipedia info on it, smartypants.

Auto-Correct: Just like your iPhone, Lion will suggest correct spellings if you mess up.

Turn Your Mac into a Jukebox: Lion's got a new screensaver mode that'll let you select an album in your library, and let the jams slow. I will put on Goblin first, and then perhaps Toto's Greatest Hits. One question: how do you get out of this mode, if mousing around and clicking doesn't disable the screensaver? ETERNAL JUKEBOX?

There are plenty more! Check the rest of the nitty gritty here.